Northern Virginia recently basked in the reflected glory of director Clint Eastwood and the cast of his upcoming movie on J. Edgar Hoover, filmed with Leonardo DiCaprio in Great Falls, Alexandria, Arlington and Fauquier counties. But did you know that the Virginia General Assembly recently added $1.5 million to the governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund to lure more film projects to the Old Dominion?
In this well-researched piece by Alexander Chung on Alexandria’s Local Kicks website, we learn that Virginia now has $3 million to offer filmmakers as incentives to shoot here, including grants or rebates and exemptions from taxes. The governor’s office told Chung that in 2009, “the direct and indirect impact of Virginia’s motion picture and video production industry was about $346 million and supported more than 2,700 jobs in the state, according to Jeff Caldwell, McDonnell’s press secretary.”
Productions must spend at least $250,000, do at least 50 percent of their shooting in Virginia and include “Filmed in Virginia” and a state logo in the credits, Chung reports. The Virginia Film Office lists more than a dozen feature and TV films or documentaries shot in the state in 2010, and next year Steven Spielberg is coming to shoot his film “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the Great Emancipator and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. That Daniel Day-Lewis can act a little, so that could be good.